Breanna Bond weighed 186 pounds by the time she was 9 years old.
The extra weight made it difficult for her to breathe and move around. The California girl soon became a target for bullies. “Everybody at school would call me names,” she said. “They would call me fatty, they would call me fat head.”
Breanna’s weight gain began when she was a baby, reaching 100 pounds by the time she got to kindergarten. She couldn’t keep up with the friends who were running while they played.
“Her pediatrician always said that she’d grow into her body and then, after a while, we went and got other doctors’ opinions,” Breanna’s mother, Heidi Bond of Clovis, Calif., said today on “Good Morning America.” “We had her tested for everything from thyroid to diabetes – her endocrinology got tested – allergies, and everything came out fine so we knew at that point we had to step things up.”
Bond and Breanna’s father, Dan Bond, decided to take matters into their own hands. Heidi Bond designed an exercise routine for her daughter and the entire family. They began to walk the 4-mile trail near their home.
“There was nothing that stopped us,” Heidi Bond said. “We went at night, in the rain, in the hail, in the fog, nothing. We had a zero-tolerance policy. We’re doing the walk, no matter what.”
Before long, Breanna had lost 37 pounds. In less than a year, her weight loss totaled 66 pounds.
In addition to following a diet that limits fat to 20 grams per day, Breanna also began using her home treadmill for an hour and 15 minutes each day. She also started to play basketball and joined the swim team.
“[That] I can be involved in sports and I can keep up with my friends when we’re playing,” Breanna said on “GMA” of her favorite aspect of her weight loss. “I can just move more.”
Heidi Bond said Breanna inspires her every day.
“She is an inspiration to the world and all children who are having weight issues across America, that you can do it with a pair of tennis shoes and motivation,” Bond said.
The Bonds offered three tips for other parents who are looking to keep their children healthy: start as soon as possible, exercise and enforce healthy eating habits.
“Don’t be afraid to do the tough love,” Dan Bond said on “GMA.” “It’s worth it in the long run. It’s their life that’s at stake.”
IMO this is the way to fight bullying: not with a cheesy youtube video, but by actually doing something about it.